Maryland Driver’s License Suspension Lawyer
Though it seems like an obligation some days, driving is actually a privilege that is subject to being taken away. In Maryland, a driver can have his or her license suspended for a variety of reasons, some of which are seemingly minor, and quickly lose a benefit that many others take for granted. There are several issues, traffic-related and not, that could lead to a driver’s license suspension in Maryland, and we hope the following list of questions will help provide some clarification on suspended licenses in Maryland.
Common Causes of License Suspensions in Maryland
Some of the most common causes of license suspension in Maryland include:
Failure to appear
The number one reason for a Maryland driver to have his or her license suspended is because he or she failed to appear at a scheduled court date. The law says that when a person misses a court date, even for minor issues such as traffic tickets, the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration is notified and the person’s license is suspended.
Failure to pay fines
Similar to failure to appear is the failure to pay court-imposed fines or costs. If a person in Maryland ignores a court’s order to pay a fine or ticket then the MVA will be notified and that person’s license will be suspended until the fine is paid.
Child support trouble
Another common cause of license suspension in Maryland is child support trouble. The law says that if a parent falls behind on his or her child support obligations the state’s Child Support Enforcement Administration (CSEA) has the ability to choose to suspend that person’s driver’s license. The CSEA can instruct the MVA to suspend a person’s license after falling behind on payments for at least 60 days.
Another reason why a driver’s license might be suspended is due to the accumulation of points on a person’s driving record. This means that either a string of small traffic violations could add up to a license suspension or one serious offense, such as an alcohol or drug related moving violation, could singlehandedly lead to suspension.
Driving on a Suspended or Revoked License
Though it’s a problem that impacts many people, driving on a suspended or revoked license can be quite serious in terms of the impact it has on your life. If you are found operating a motor vehicle without a valid license, you could face huge hikes in insurance premiums, fines, points on your license, and possibly even jail time. It’s important to talk to an experienced defense attorney in order to avoid the potential negative impacts of driving on a suspended or revoked Maryland driver’s license.
Driving on a Suspended License
Under Maryland law, drivers who are found to be operating a vehicle on a suspended license face potentially serious trouble, including a loss of freedom due to incarceration. Driving on a suspended license can result in a year behind bars, up to a $1,000 fine, and up to 12 points on your driving record. Those caught driving on a suspended license a second time face up to two years behind bars in addition to the other penalties. This offense will also likely result in huge increases in your insurance premiums, something that will make it harder to afford to drive once your license is eventually reinstated. All prosecutors need to do in order to convict you of driving on a suspended license is prove that when you were stopped, your license had been suspended by the Maryland MVA for one of several appropriate reasons.
Driving on a Revoked License
If you are convicted of driving on a revoked license, the penalties are similar to those for driving on a suspended license. Anyone caught driving on a revoked license can be sentenced to 12 months in jail, a $1,000 fine, and will have an additional 12 points added to his or her driving record. The state only needs to prove that when you were stopped your license had been revoked by the Maryland MVA. Though the penalties are similar to those for driving on a suspended license, the reality is an arrest for driving on a revoked license will likely result in a longer loss of your driving privileges, a serious inconvenience that can make it hard to find and keep work or care for your children.
Driver’s License Suspension Notices in Maryland
Drivers in Maryland who have run into legal trouble in the past may open their mailbox one day to the unpleasant surprise of a driver’s license suspension notice. At this point, the driver can choose to handle the suspension in one of two ways:
- The first option that you have after receiving a suspension notice is to simply mail in your license or take it in person to the nearest office of the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration. If you choose to surrender your license, you must do so by the suspension date listed on your notice. If you are late in returning your license, your suspension period will be extended by the number of days that you delay.
- The second option is to fight the suspension. If you choose to fight the issue, you have to move quickly. Those looking to contest a Maryland license suspension have 15 days to request a hearing on their suspension. The suspension notice contains specific instructions for how to request such a hearing, or you can contact an experienced Maryland defense attorney who is familiar with the process.
Once your request has been received, you will be contacted by the Office of Administrative Hearings, which will set a date to hear your appeal. It’s important to remember that until the hearing takes place, your license will still be deemed suspended, which means you are not legally allowed to drive.
Driving on a suspended or revoked license is a serious offense in the state of Virginia and the penalties for such an offense can be severe. Consulting a skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney can give you the best chance for a positive outcome in your case. Contact the Maryland law office of defense attorney Seth Okin today at (410) 782-0742 for a free consultation and some trustworthy advice.